Firenze Marathon

50 - 100 €
8.4

Location

9.0/10

Track

9.0/10

Atmosphere

8.0/10

Organization

8.0/10

Budget

8.0/10

Pros

  • The location
  • Nice scenografic route
  • Beautiful picture service
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not easy to reach
  • Crowded, book in advance
  • Only marathon distance
Edition:39th (2023)
World Athletics Label Road Race:No
Expected participants:8000
Distances:42K
Type of race:Flat, city run
Time limit:6h

My 2022 of running ends with Firenze Marathon, and no event could close better this season! The beauty of Florence (Firenze, in Italian) is known worldwide. The city where Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Raffaello, Leonardo, to name only few geniuses, operated and left masterpieces to be there for our contemplation.

Not by coincidence, the motto of the race is “we run in art“, and the race delivers perfectly on this statement. Let’s look into the race more in detail.

The booking process

The website is very easy to navigate. I would like to mention that italian rules for enrolling to these events are a bit complicate and stricter than most of organizations abroad.

I will not go into details, but to enroll to the competitive race you need a medical certificate and to belong to a certified athletic team. There is a shortcut, if you come from abroad, you can participate “non competiting” , signing off a self-certification of good health. This detail is not trivial. If you sign on for the non competitive, you will not be in the “competitive” list, which mean you cannot win a category prize (if you are fast enough) and most importantly – but please check this info with the organization – I assume you cannot claim that time for a qualifying status.

The race pack will include the T-shirt and some other amenities – not options to select or deselect anything. The price is raising with time, pay attention to the dates of the change.  

The organization

The expo is in the area of the Artemio Franchi Stadium, in the immediate vicinity of the railway station Campo di Marte.

If you plan to stay in the city center, close to the start and finish point (which I recommend), you can get there by public transport. There are several connections available, although I experiences some delays on Saturday, probably connected with the fact the city center is already partly closed.

The expo was very well organised (limited queuing to get to the pick up) and the amount of stands, and the quality, was very high. Once you pick your race pack, a labirynth will lead you through many stands, some of them with good deals. Difficult to leave the Expo without some addituonal purchases!

On race day, everything worked very well. Limited queuing to the toilets, and to the cloakroom service, located at piazza Santa Maria Novella in spaces divided in different groups, corresponding to start numbers. Easy also the access to the starting lines (corrals organized per colors, based on the expected finish time you submit at the subscription).  

Runners list at the Expo

 
The course

The course in 2022 starts and finishes at Piazza Duomo, the heart of the city.

You will meet other landmarks of this beautiful city, like the large Parco delle Cascine, a green park just outside, in the first third of the race. You will run on the famous Ponte Vecchio  just before half race. Shortly after, Santa Croce church. The course reaches the stadium around the 30-32 km (20 mile).

Finally, the race will bring you back to the city center, with the last 3-4K very dynamic, in the heart of the city, surrounded by cheering locals and curious turists. The course is mostly flat and fast, so it is a good opportunity for a personal best. The final part in the city with sharp bends could slow you down.  

Runners on Ponte Vecchio

Personal impressions
It is true: you run in art! The race is beautiful and well organised.
The refreshment points are spread evenly on the track (almost perfectly every 5K), and well managed and equipped.
A very big selling point of this event is the presence of so many masterpiece of architecture on the course. The finish in Piazza Duomo is something unforgettable.
The last 4-5K in the small streets of the center are a bit “controversial”. There are many things I like of them. Fore example, the path changes every 100-200 meters, which is good to keep the mind busy, but puts extra stress on the legs. Also, the narrow streets are full of tourists and some, trying to cross without paying too much attention.
Unfortunately, usually runner reflexes at the 40K of a marathon are not as sharp as Spider-man ones. The risk of unpleasant clashes may be there. But all in all, one of the most beautiful finish you can find.
Special mention to the medal, for the last 3 editions until 2022 at least created by a jewelery designer. It will be a perfect item in your runner collection!
Downsides? Only minor things to mention. For example, Firenze airport is not very big and not too well connected. Also, the city is always full of visitors: booking in advance is highly recommended! Another thing: the only distance organized is the marathon.
Firenze Marathon it is not a multi-race event that could satisfy runners with difference preferences. For an alternative with shorter distances, you can look at the half marathon, held in spring.
Conclusions

A beautiful race in a stunning city. If you want to run in art, I definitely recommend to run the Firenze Marathon!


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